How Brands Can Help Wearables Succeed
BRANDS SHOULD ASSIST WEARABLES IN MODIFYING CONSUMER BEHAVIORS
So as a brand you’re going to want to gain the trust of your wearable consumer, just like the first wearables did throughout history. You need to show consumers how you can positively modify their behaviors while providing utilities that assist their evolving lifestyles.
Your brand and wearable technology should modify consumer behaviors in at least one of three ways:
Increase consumer strengths
Shift their perception
Add new abilities
WHERE CAN BRANDS PLAY?
Let’s start by building out today’s wearable tech ecosystem and in doing so, we’ll identify the sweet spot for brands to own without having to go to the trouble of developing an original wearable tech platform.
Personal factors within the wearable tech ecosystem are produced by the wearable user and encompass all the various types of personal data wearable technology can track. Ask yourself, which of these factors would be relevant to my brand? What can my brand track and modify to make a better experience for my consumer with the data and insights on the brand side combined with the data and insights produced by the consumer?
Environmental factors are out of the user’s control, but they ultimately affect how the user and wearable interacts within the surrounding environment.
Again, it’s about asking yourself what are the areas within the user’s environment my brand can own? Is your brand a CPG beverage that wants to own 80-degree sunny days and provide thirst quenching opportunities when wearable tech users data alerts dehydration? What’s the role of light and sound? Are there any environmental factors that can trigger an ownable brand moment or occasion within the wearable tech ecosystem?
If the environment affects the user and their wearable devices, location factors establish a sense of time and place for these occurrences in our ecosystem.
Location helps us put everything into context. Where is our user at? What is the time of the day? And as we begin to dig deeper through data, what is the consumer’s intention at any given point? It’s why I think it’s important to place commerce within location factors too. How can your brand trigger an event purchase in real-time based on insights generated by the consumer’s wearable data?
The ecosystem has to be powered in some way. Auxiliary factors connect our user and their wearable technologies to the rest of the world.
Our devices and consumers need to be powered at all times so that the data created can turn into insights and enable consumers to make decisions. These factors aren’t anything new but as a brand you can think of how you can enable wi-fi connectivity out-of-home. You can ask consumers to share the wearable data they create at these touch points in exchange for access to their data.
But what holds all these factors together? It’s our interconnected mobile devices and what could very well be our interconnected watches too.
When we think of wearables we need to think beyond what the wearable can track but also what the wearable is talking to. A majority of the time wearables are interconnected to our mobile devices and the cloud where all the data mashes up to form insights distributed back to these mobile devices. The mobile device and watch serve as a universal utility that work across all of the identified factors and interconnected users with the wearables they equip.
So what’s the sweet spot for brands to own? It’s the spot right right between the wearer and the rest of the interconnected world. It’s in this area that your brand has the opportunity to identify a consumer behavior to modify, find a wearable already attempting to do so, and partner together to create a new opportunity that can better both the wearable provider and your brand as a result.
And constantly remember that whatever behavior you want to modify make sure you’re either increasing your consumer’s strength, shifting their perception, or creating additional new abilities they never had before.
WHAT CAN YOUR BRAND DO?
Now that we know the lay of the land, what can your brand do?
Phase a wearable tech app update. Most wearable technologies come with a mobile app of some sort to absorb data and provide insights to the user. Why not use your ad budget dollars and phase a wearable tech’s next app update?
These updates can combine your brand data with wearable tech data and together you can push out stronger insights to your consumer’s mobile device throughout the day. Or set data triggers that remind consumers on their mobile device to use your brand to strengthen their performance when they have the associated wearable technology equipped.
Produce a data leveraged platform. On the flip-side why not create a web platform that incorporates the data produced by a wearable technology related to your brand? You can provide additional backend utilities that can scrape and scrub the data and provide a real-time dashboard for your consumers. What if you could let your consumers compare themselves to other consumers using the platform? What could you do? A friendly competition? A community that offers advice on lifestyle improvement?
Or maybe it’s even making a branded content series that delivers specific episodes or videos based to the viewer based on the uploaded user’s wearable data. And if you’re a brand without existing data to use, this could be a great opportunity to get into the data game.
Co-market with wearables. Wearables are being sold everywhere from electronic stores to your local Walgreens or Duane Reade. The shelf space at retail stores is another area you can take advantage of.
Can your brand make a substantial claim that when it’s used in combination with a certain wearable technology it can provide new and positive results for the wearer? If so, why not position your brand as a wearable tech enhancer? Find a wearable partner and sell your products side-by-side on shelf space. Position the tech and brand as one together.
Tap into open APIs. Just like you don’t have to physically create a new piece of wearable technology you don’t have to reinvent the backend development structure either. What are existing wearable tech APIs you can use to build off of?
The wearable watch world already has them available to you through Apple WatchKit and the Android Wear platform. But why not look to other providers like the smart thermostat Nest? How can you brand bridge the gap between a smart home and a wearable tech provider?
How about wearable ads? Absolutely not. This is the complete and utter wrong thing to do. You are so close to the consumer that if you invade their privacy in the least bit, they’ll feel cheated and taken advantage.
An ad without any context or a message pushed to them without any relevancy on their wearable tech screens will just feel cheap and irrelevant. Do you brand a favor and put the idea of wearable ads to bed.
Simply repurpose. Sometimes it’s doing nothing more than repurposing an existing wearable technology when creativity sparks. Rashers, a pork-based sandwich shop in Canada, saw an opportunity to take advantage of the wearable tech athletic running space.
All a consumer had to do on their next run was create the shape of a pig on their mobile map while their wearable technology geo-tracked their running path, present the pig-shape running map in-store, and get a discounted sandwich.
Rashers simply repurposed 10 different running related wearable tech platforms existing utility and turned it into a couponing device. What was the cost of that besides running some media to promote?
So let’s recap. How do you equip your brand with wearable technology and enter the space?
We’ve been talking about consumer-centric modeling for years. With wearable technology, the consumer is literally at the center of everything they do. This gives us tremendous opportunity to connect with consumers but also at a tremendous cost as they’re giving the wearable tech industry complete trust to treat their privacy with respect.
The consumer is in control, they are wearing the device. The minute something feels intrusive, and their personal space has been threatened, they’re going to take off the device and you will be blocked.
Above all, remember you’re here to modify their behaviors. Help your consumers increase their strengths, shift their perceptions, and give them added abilities. Do this, and your brand will be properly prepared to equip itself with wearables and enter this new consumer-centric industry.